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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum
Faces of Meda
Faces of Meda
Faces of Meda

Faces of Meda

director: Veronika Janečková
original title: Tváře Medy
country: Czech Republic
year: 2015
running time: 50 min.

synopsis

This film documenting the coexistence of filmmaker Veronika Janečková and arts patron Meda Mládková can be seen as a film about the making of a portrait documentary that was never made. Much of the footage used was taken without Mládková’s knowledge and captures her everyday meetings with the director, who briefly lived in her home in Washington during the course of filming. The film thus shows two different sides of Mládková – the public face, which she shows during “talking head” interviews, and the private face, which reveals minor everyday generational conflicts between an aging powerful woman and the young documentarian.

DETAIL:
“She had all the maladies. She was kind of fat, she wasn’t particularly pretty. I also think she had long hair. I told her, ‘You must lose 20 kilos.’ She managed to obtain her PhD in the States in just a year.”

biography

Veronika Janečková is a fresh graduate of the Department of Documentary Films at FAMU. Her films deal primarily with family and intergenerational relationships. Golden Marriage (2003), her graduation work from the film school in Písek, follows a couple after fifty years together. Her bachelor’s degree work from FAMU, Roots (2008) once again documents the tense relations between the director and her grandmother. The Faces of Meda is her FAMU graduation work.

more about film

director: Veronika Janečková
producer: Jakub Wagner, Viktor Vokjan
script: Veronika Janečková
photography: Veronika Janečková, Marek Brožek, Petr Záruba
editing: Viktor Vokjan, Kristýna Toupalová
sound: Veronika Janečková, Veronika Bartošová, Ludvík Bohadlo

other films in the section

Prolegomena to Virtual Framing of a Revolution
A conceptual essay-like look at the origins, symptoms, and principles that stood at the outset of the revolutions in Egypt and Libya. Authoritative regimes come to an end in messages from thousands of mobile telephones. Eisenstein’s mother shot through the eye, Tom and Jerry, Barack Obama, and Slavoj Žižek appear in order to interpret bloody videos showing the chaos of and motivations behind the struggle for liberty and dignity. In Libya, an invitation to the desert of reality takes on sinister dimensions. Muammar Gaddafi utters his final curse.

Prolegomena to Virtual Framing of a Revolution

Petr Hátle
Czech Republic / 2011 / 50 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Everything´s Gonna Be Fine
Producer Čestmír Kopecký had originally wanted to make a film about the changing face of Brno, but in the end director Robin Kvapil and co-writer Pavel Šplíchal created something more closely resembling Šplíchal’s ironic blog Prigl. In their “lovingly anarchistic” film, Brno forms the epicentre of a sarcastic look at Czech society. The naive and vacuous communist-era documentary with which Kvapil’s film opens gives way to the reporter’s bitter monologues right in front of the camera. These are intercut with acted sequences featuring Brno’s political elites, artists, and outcasts.“People say that Brno is the only joke that is inhabitable. The entire film follows this logic.” R. Kvapil

Everything´s Gonna Be Fine

Robin Kvapil
Czech Republic / 2017 / 71 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Normal Autistic Film
Children with autism don’t suffer from an incurable disease. They suffer because they are neurodiverse in a world set up for neurotypicals. With that perspective, Miroslav Janek embarks on a series of live meetings with a number of children and young adults who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. He gives them the opportunity to express freely their relationship with the world and with themselves, as well as what sets them apart from “normal”. We find that he’s brought us into the company of fun, fascinating people who often suffer because they are labelled as “disabled”. This excursion into the world of autism redefines the seemingly firm boundaries between “otherness” and normality.“Now let’s talk about Asperger syndrome. What Asperger’s knows how to do. The standard form of Asperger’s syndrome, the milder version, which is what I have, is able to find friends. But the more severe version can’t. He has no friends.”

Normal Autistic Film

Miroslav Janek
Czech Republic / 2016 / 90 min.
section: Czech Joy
Traces, Fragments, Roots
A museum of rotting apples, a Christmas tree shedding its needles, a splintered tree trunk, maggots crawling over a honeycomb… The sound of a falling apple hitting the ground, speech classes, Christian sermons, the baaing of sheep… Images and sound continuously come into contact with each other in the twenty-minute film Prints, Shards, Roots, presenting creative encounters between the human world and nature. The film could be termed an experiment, but it is more of an evocative lyrical series of images and sounds, which gain power through the effective shots taken with a 16mm camera. The beauty of the decaying natural items that is consistently called is set against a backdrop of human artefacts, which is slightly indifferent but no less mysterious.“‘I really don’t know what’s wrong with it, no matter how much water I add, it’s still too runny.’ I once ran into this sentence somewhere – it’s about mixing mortar – and I like it more and more.”

Traces, Fragments, Roots

Květa Přibylová
Czech Republic / 2016 / 20 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Excursion or History of the Present (English version)
The creators of the documentary essay Excursions visit several typical tourist attractions – the Aurora battleship, the monumental buildings of the Third Reich, the Berlin Wall, and the world’s first museum in Rome. Their interest is not so much in these places as it is in different ways of encountering history. With a subtle sense of irony, they explore how historical monuments influence guidebooks and visitors. We hear guides’ explanations, interviews, memories, and reenactments with tourists playing various roles. The film uses their interactions with these stages of history to engage in a sophisticated exploration of the relationship between contemporary man and the past.DETAIL:“In the Jewish cemetery in Berlin there is a grave with an inscription: ‘Now you are here, watching silently. When you leave, go and talk.’ We behave like this in front of the monuments – we are silent.”

Excursion or History of the Present (English version)

Jan Gogola ml.
Czech Republic / 2015 / 82 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Arms ready
Firearms are a multifaceted phenomenon in contemporary society. For some they are a symbol of power, for others they represent certainty, and for others still they are a source of danger. Barbora Chalupová interviews gun owners and people interested in a gun permit, and explores the availability (both legally and illegally) of firearms in the Czech Republic. Her film makes partial use of the internet as an unconventional narrative tool, but is otherwise a typical interview-style documentary. The filmmaker also explores legal gray areas related to homemade weapons.“You see, it’s more about finding out why to have one or not have one. A gun, I mean. Legal… Illegal… But maybe I am just protecting myself with this pilfered political manifesto, or creating an alibi for myself.“

Arms ready

Barbora Chalupová
Czech Republic / 2016 / 39 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Will the World Remember Your Name?
Fetal ultrasound screening. Tourists pointing their mobiles at themselves using selfie sticks. Mannequins in store windows. People walking down the street examining their reflections in glass storefronts. Photographing models for 3D printers. A series of commonplace scenes shows us the various forms of images and depiction with which we surround ourselves, which we use to observe ourselves, understand ourselves, and also form and archive ourselves. At the same time, the question asked in the film title points out how our attention is shifting from words to images. The issue is no longer whether the world will remember our name, but whether we can imprint our image into its memory. “In the main role: The ego.” M.-M. Kochová

Will the World Remember Your Name?

Marie-Magdalena Kochová
Czech Republic / 2017 / 17 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Is Everyone Right? Karel Floss and the Others.
A multi-portrait of the history of post-1989 Czech ideas and sensibilities, centered around left-wing Christian philosopher Karel Floss. Circling his ideas on God, truth, and politics like satellites are statements by strongly antithetical individuals including Milan Knížák, Ondřej Slačálek, Noam Chomsky, and Czech nationalist thinkers. Working with a subtle sense of irony, the film is openly inspired by the style of Karel Vachek as it makes use of semantic counterpoints, situational humor and aloof formal elements. The result is a kind of audiovisual riverbed for channeling the fury of a nation that recalls a child that is just learning to think and does not know what to relate to first, because in a certain sense, basically “everyone is right”.DETAIL:“That means that truth unifies, but it unifies without asking us to give up on differences. And so we fling ourselves into the trap of dogmatism – any position is dogmatic if it claims that if there exist truths, then these truths will not accept any differences.”

Is Everyone Right? Karel Floss and the Others.

Helena Všetečková
Czech Republic / 2015 / 124 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
White-Black Film
A film object with several variations on the meaning of the word “image” – be it a film image, a primitive painting, or an idea. Using for the most part static shots of Australian nature, the film looks the continent’s aboriginal inhabitants, their troubled history under white colonial rule, and their unique relationship to art. The history of the aborigines since the arrival of white colonialists is usually divided into three periods: the “time of killing”, the “time of farming”, and the “time of alcohol”. First they were murdered by the colonisers, then they slaved away on their farms, and then they got alcohol.

White-Black Film

Vladimír Turner
Czech Republic / 2013 / 30 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Techsquat
The new form of community living called techsquat is open to all creatives, entrepreneurs and managers who want to share their personal and working space-time with similar-minded people. Five young people living together in a Prague apartment like to think of techsquatting as a progressive and stimulating lifestyle. The filmmakers follow their daily lives as they test the viability of this idea. Their observational approach based on long static shots does not prevent them from engaging in a bit of sarcasm – as hinted at in their choice and ordering of scenes and fully revealed at the film’s end.DETAIL:“Quality – it’s basically an attribute of things, like how we spend our time or something that works well. I think that people can be of good quality, too, and I firmly hope that there are a lot of quality people here.”

Techsquat

Tereza Bernátková
Czech Republic / 2015 / 36 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Blind Gulliver
In Martin Ryšavý’s new film, the film medium becomes an analogue of the human mind. The artist uses it not only to organize memories, but also as a specific instrument of perception. The film features scenes from visits to Ukraine and Russia, a monologue by a Russian tarot card reader, and the director’s eye exam. Using focus, he creates parallels between the camera and the sight organ; with editing, a web of associations emerges in which personal memories intertwine with observations of public political and social events. Blind Gulliver is a film about searching for perspectives in all senses of the word.“I pass through the world with eyes wide open.”

Blind Gulliver

Martin Ryšavý
Czech Republic / 2016 / 105 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Viva Video, Video Viva
Today, analogue video is attractive primarily thanks to the distinctive aesthetic quality of its pixelated image and raster errors. But for Czech artists who first explored the possibilities offered by video art in the late 1980s, this medium represented a path towards freedom. Through a portrait of her grandfather Radek Pilař, one of the pioneers of Czech video art, the director explores her own legacy of imperative creative fascination. Her film’s main story, i.e., the process of reconstructing the 1989 exhibition Video Day, contrasts this enchantment with life in the final days of the totalitarian regime, which different sharply with the adventures of those who decided to emigrate – whom the filmmaker also visits in order to discover forgotten works, get to know their creators, and re-establish broken ties.  “’The computers, which are here with me, quietly tell me they want me to understand them, to live with them. Because we will live with them. But either they’re devils, or they will be gods.’ Radek Pilař.” A. Komrzý
personal program

Viva Video, Video Viva

Adéla Komrzý
Czech Republic / 2018 / 85 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
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